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The environmental history of Canada is a bleak one. Resource extraction has always put profits before conservation. Settlers exploited both the land and the Indigenous peoples for commercial gain, and big business continues that policy with forests, fish, minerals, tar sands and pipelines. As the Earth veers toward a biological tipping point, as resources become scarcer, and as climate change threatens our survival, how is Canada responding? What kind of future can Canadians expect? What changes need to be made?
In About Canada: The Environment, award-winning author Linda Pannozzo examines the philosophical, economic and ideological landscape of our current environmental worldview. She connects our faith in the free market and our adherence to an economic system based on endless growth to illustrate the critical situation of Canada’s environment. Regulations and protections, where they did exist, have been eroded to benefit the bottom line, and industrial expansion and resource extraction, fueled by cheap energy and consumers’ insatiable demand for goods, have taken an unprecedented environmental toll — one that will only be worsened by the realities of climate change.
Ultimately, Pannozzo argues, the solution requires a profound shift in thinking — personally, politically and economically. The inherent value of nature must be recognized, for we cannot continue to destroy nature without ultimately destroying ourselves.